How to do a Mail Merge – With more than one record per page

*** UPDATE 2021 *** The below has helped a lot of people out over the years since it was written in 2013. I’ve recently had a much more advanced email merge to contend with, so inserting the link to that post here.

Advanced Mail Merge : Multiple clickable URL entries per mail to user

I opted to learn how to use the mail merge features of MS Word linked to Excel, as each year my wife goes on about the hassles that she gets whilst trying to mail 4000 people & how difficult it is to get it right.

So this is what I learnt as I cracked the issues that she couldn’t, so this time next year her job will be that much easier.

I thought I’d add it as a blog post for two reasons, first to help you and second to remind me how to do it.

The first thing you need to do a mail merge is some data in Excel, I made up the following:


Next launch Word and write a letter.

Next click the Mailings tab, Start Mail Merge drop down and select Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard

Now for the fun bit, work your way through the wizard, select an your Excel file to use & add to the existing letter an Address Block from the left menu, this will add in the address for each person, then choose a Greeting Line both of these two options reduces the amount of work that you have to put into your letter and personalises it to the max.


Now to cover one of problems my wife was having, she wanted to being able to have 3 letters printed to 1 page, thus saving on paper. if you just copy and paste the text 3 times on the one Word document then this doesn’t work, it’ll just repeat the same persons name and address 3 times.

The way you get around this is by requesting the next record, do this by marking the start of the next block with «Next Record»

before the request for «AddressBlock», so you’ll have your next record starting with:

«Next Record»«AddressBlock»

Time format, by default you’ll get all sorts of weird time formats. To change what time format gets displayed you need to editing the field code with Edit Field… this is available by selecting it on a right click on the current field, in this case on the merge field marked «Time» Then Field Codes button and add the following to get just the hours without any seconds.

MERGEFIELD Time \@ "HH:mm"

The above information mixed with a little bit of trial and error with make you a master at the Mail Merge functionality of MS Office.

Top Tip: If at any point you feel that the Mail Merge Wizard is not doing what you ask it to do, then it most probably isn’t. Its a complete wind up and learning how to do a mail merge by using the menu bar tools is the best advice I can give.

Second Top Tip: If at any point you want to remove the mail merge information from the word document, do so by opening the document, click on the Mailings tab, click the down arrow under the Start Mail Merge button, click on Normal Word Document. This will disconnect the Word document from the source document.

If you get a date out as 1899 then read this to explain all and fix the issue

Image below shows how I manage to get multiple postcards on one page, each postcard reads a separate record:

MailMerge-ImageClick image to enlarge, it’ll show that I have «AddressBlock» , «GreetingLine» , «Date» , «Time» inserted into the merge, each postcard is in a Text box, with smaller text boxes inside. This then keeps each merge record together, so when a «NextRecord» is called it knows where to put the details without missing any information. Like the issue that Karen is having below, if you read the comments.


  1. Karen Jones

    The page that I will end up I want to quarter so I have 4 post cards per page. On each post card I want different student’s information (student’s last name, student’s first name, student’s middle name, teacher’s name, grade). On my template I put on 3 of the post cards before each last name. When I merge, it is skipping student’s names. Can you help. Thanks.

  2. Karen Jones

    Still working with it. It is merging the correct first, middle, last names, teacher name, but it is not picking up the correct test score. I am using the next record although it is nowhere on the 1st record. Next record is inserted on the 2nd, 3rd & 4th records only.

  3. Raymond Reid

    Only use Next Record once at the start of each postcard and not on the first postcard. Try that, see if it helps.
    In the meantime relax by listening to some music we put together on the FrozenVeg website : 🙂

  4. Karen Jones

    Thank you. That is what I have, and for some reason the student’s score is not correct. In my Excel spreadsheet, each row has the name, teacher’s name, score. On the Word document the names are printing correct but the 1st score being pulled is from Row #3 and it is duplicated on the second record. The 3rd record has the score from Row #5 and it is duplicated on the 4th record.

    • Karen Jones

      Hello Raymond,

      I believe that the info I need on the mail merge is right at my fingertips and unfortunately I am not able to click on your image to expand it.

      Karen Jones Corinth School District 1204 N. Harper Rd Corinth, MS 38834 Ph (662) 287-2425 Ext. 106 Fax (662) 286-1885

  5. Karen Jones

    Hello Raymond. Thank you for the work you have put into answering my question on mail merge. Unfortunately I am not able to click on your image and I believe that would answer my problem if I could see your image.

    • Mike

      I too cannot click on the image.
      Trying to print 4 documents to a page in Word 2013 going into the print options and selecting 4 per page just prints 1 record in the top corner and the rest are blank

  6. myinnerg

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. This is exactly the information that I was looking for, I shall try it out now and get my mail campaign together. Many thanks again!

  7. MikeB

    This is great – I have one other query though. I am making raffle tickets and have to a page, but on subsequent pages it goes back to the second value. For example: I have ticket number 101, 102, 103 on page one and then page two goes 102, 103, 104… how can I keep it going consecutively?

    • llwilson57

      I’m having the same problem. I’m merging two records on each page. The last value on each page is repeated as the first value on the following page even through I have put the “Next Record” command in front of each field code.

      • kilroyscarnival

        Yes! I too was going by the merge preview, and it looked like my records were duplicating. 1 and 2 on the first page, 2 and 3 on the second. But when I actually ran the merge to a new document, they all came out only once and in sequence.

  8. Thakgudi

    I had the same problem with student cards. I designed a full page student card and merged it to my students list. I finished the merge and clicked edit individual document and selected all. When this is complete I clicked file then print and chosen 8 pages per sheet. Try it.

  9. Alexis

    I think this will help me solve a problem. I have a document that works well for printing three per page in Publisher, but have just tried adding mail merge fields to personalize it.

    Silly Question: Could you detail how to to add the <> merge field? Do I just add it as a column header in my excel spreadsheet? THANK YOU!

  10. Cindy Carmichael

    Hello. I am trying to merge more than one record into a text box (so I can merge more than one record side by side). I have read through the info above but keep getting an error stating “You cannot include DATA, NEXT, NEXTIF, or SKIPIF fields in comments, headers, footers, footnotes, or end notes.” Please Help???

  11. gogaylego1222

    OMG having the same issue…trying to print 4 “labels” per sheet, but getting 4 duplicates of label on each sheet (sheet 1 has four of label 1, sheet 2 has 4 of label 2, and so on). I have done the “Update Label” step and see <> three times, but still no luck…I have tried printing (in case the preview was inaccurate), but it does the same thing. Unable to Merge to PDF, gives me an error of “Unsupported Word Field” (that being Next Record). Help, please!

    • gogaylego1222

      That should have said have done the “Update Label” step and see <> three times, but still no luck

      Should it be <> or or something else?

      • gogaylego1222

        Upon further Googling, I’ve discovered that the issue is using Mail Merge fields inside a text box, which is exactly what I’ve done. I’ll rethink my strategy, sounds like using tables is the way to go.

  12. aa

    Thanx heaps… was scouring the web for solutions to printing multiple records on one page & found yours working almost perfectly…. 🙂
    requires a little bit of tweaking but the end result was as required.

  13. John M Givens

    This worked just as I wanted to do – and had about given up on how to do it.
    I am creating 4″x6″ horizontal layout post cards with return address and recipient address. The Avery forms I’m using have two postcards per page so I set up my mail-merge “letter” by making two copies – top and bottom. Since I want address #1 to print at the top and address #2 to print at the bottom – I inserted the Next Record” field at the first line in the bottom post card. I found it uner the Rules item on the Mailings Menu.

    Worked just like I wanted. Thanks.

  14. Kathleen Brown

    Thank you so much! This is what I have needed to complete a task for my boss. I appreciate the fact I didn’t have to tear my hair out to get this done!

  15. April

    I am having the same issue, but putting <> isn’t working. It just repeats the same information with <> in front of the name for the second and third letters on the page. Any suggestions?

  16. Bill H

    Great tip for more than one record on a page. Thanks. However my data contains hyperlinks and dates both of which lose format, the link appears as text with the display content but url is lost, and date becomes usa format.

  17. Kate Hanna

    Hi, I’m trying this to print story cards for my agile project, two to a page.
    I have a table on the mail merge page with two rows, one for each card. Each card has several fields in it, the first one being “Summary”. What I have done is put in front of “Summary” only. I thought this was merging correctly, but it turns out that it is missing every third record. You can’t see this on the print preview, which seems to say it is repeating every second record, but that is the result in actual printing.
    Can anyone help with this issue?

    Thanks in advance.

  18. Joseph Ball

    I sure wish I could view your samples, showing all commands. All I see is gibberish. Cannot read anything. As others, I want to merge 4 postcards per page.
    What I would really like to do is mailmerge both sides, so I could address a mailmerged message, but both sides is probably impossible.
    So, I will settle for addresses only. If I could only read your samples.

  19. Shan

    I am having a problem because I want it to do the going to the next record thingy but most of my records are duplicated so I want it to go to the next record only if it is not duplicated

  20. Anna

    Hello, Thanks for everyone’s suggestions. I wanted to make individual cards for primary students with all their personal logins and user names in one spot. I ended up making the original merg doc in publisher as a custom size (about a business card, 8 to an A4 page size). Then did the merg and ended up with 24 separate pages. When printing I selected “Multiple PAGES to a sheet” it is will print 8 different records on each page. I’m not sure it’s the most effective work around but it’s working.
    Inserting next record didn’t help.

    • kilroyscarnival

      Anna, for your purpose, you might want to look for an address label or business card template (under labels, and browse the Avery business card templates?) that lays out eight to the page and use that as your merge template. Then just print on standard paper and cut.

  21. Matt

    I am creating a signup sheet containing data collected from an online form, merged above each person’s signature block so that they can confirm their online answers on arrival to the event, I have created a table to hold 4 people’s responses per page (50 people in total). I’ve managed to figure out the more than one record per page situation, but when I press Finish & Merge then Print or Edit Individual Documents (as well as choosing “All records”), the document only saves or prints the first page with the first 4 records on it?? Any suggestions or help would be appreciated

  22. teddy espiritu

    I am creating a word document from an excel file data thru mail merge. I was trying to merge more than one items one page. When I viewed the documents, some items are skipped from the file. I used the Next Record Rule. What do you think went wrong?

    • Raymond Reid

      Hi Teddy, its difficult to say. Press Alt + F9 and check there is not a stray extra offscreen data point where the missing data is being placed.

      If you’ve since solved it, let us know what you did. This page still generates a LOT of traffic, even though I wrote it in 2013 !!

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